By Cindy Sheehan
“We must keep raising our voices in peace---and the harder that becomes, the more necessary it is.” Kim Gandy, President, NOW
“There can be no compromise with war; it cannot be reformed or controlled; cannot be disciplined into decency or codified into common sense; for war is the slaughter of human beings, temporarily regarded as enemies, on as large a scale as possible.” Jeannette Rankin, First female Congressperson
04/04/07 "ICH " -- - -I know Kim, and as a matter of fact, I just ran into her the other day. I believe she truly believes the above statement that she made. In her, I see a very compassionate person who supports the work of peace and justice.
However, Kim’s statement and my impression of her make me even more perplexed with who NOW chose to endorse for President, 2008: Hillary Clinton. In their campaign: I’m Ready for a Woman President, NOW’s website states that Ms. Clinton was “misled by the new president” in her 2002 vote to give this “new” president authorization to go to war. I am sorry, but the “new” president didn’t fool me. The “new” president didn’t fool every Senator, or House Representative, either. 146 officials (23 Senators and 123 House Reps) were not “misled” by the “new” president. Why was such a so-called brilliant woman as Hillary Clinton fooled by one of the biggest fools in American history? It certainly does not give me confidence in her judgment or leadership skills.
I am disappointed with NOW’s endorsement of Hillary, not just because of her vote and cheerleading “If Saddam won’t disarm, he must be disarmed” for the immoral invasion of Iraq, she is one of the many who think that no option, not even a nuclear option, must be taken off the “table” when we are dealing with the possibility that Iran may obtain one nuclear weapon, which is a drop in the WMD bucket when we know that Israel has hundreds and we have thousands. Even threatening to use such a formidable WMD as we used on the innocent civilians of Japan is inexcusable and a crime against humanity no matter which menacing person says it: Crooked Condi, Doomsday Dick, or Hillary the Hawk. For the safety and security of humanity, true women are calling for all nuclear warheads to be dismantled.
Indisputably, in war, the people who suffer the most are women, children and families. In America, tens of thousands of families have been hurt and literally torn apart by the war that Hillary supported and still supports with her vote to give King George more of the Royal Treasury to wage. Since the sanctions and secret bombings supported by her husband in the ‘90’s, millions of Iraqis have been killed or injured. Another "woman," Madeline Albright (female US Ambassador to the UN under the Clinton Regime) said that the killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi babies was “worth it;” Just as Crooked Condi said on the 4th Anniversary of this war for oil that the loss of human life has been “worth it.” Two females who never had to feel the personal, heart-wrenching pain of the loss their policies and testosteronic–tendencies have burdened millions of mothers all over the world with.
I submit that “women” like Hillary, Condi and Madeline are “female” and not “women” Just because one has a female reproductive system and outward female sexual characteristics does not make one a “woman.” A true woman is someone like our very first female Representative in Congress, from the state of Montana: Jeannette Rankin. She was elected to national office even before suffrage was granted to women in the rest of the country. She was an early feminist beginning the debate to ratify the 19th Amendment to the Constitution righting an injustice whose timing was far overdue.
Four days after she arrived in Washington, DC, in 1917, she was one of 50 Congressional Reps who voted “No” to the USA entering WWI. She was vilified by even Woman Suffragettes but she explained: “This is no time to be polite.” She was the ONLY person in Congress to vote “No” on entering WWII and in casting her vote she said: “As a woman, I can’t go to war and I refuse to send anybody else. I vote NO.” In an even more heightened period of insane nationalism and fear of the bogey-man du jour, this was an extra-ordinarily courageous and responsible thing to do.
Jeannette Rankin continued to work for peace until her death in 1973 at the age of 92. The Jeannette Rankin Brigade of 5,000 women descended on Congress during the Vietnam War and she said: “If we had 10,000 mothers willing to go to prison, we could end the war.”
The time for being polite to our war-mongering politicians and organizations which support them is over. The time has been up for years now: over four to be exact. Women in Iraq are afraid to go to the market or send their children to school. Our occupation has killed many babies and destroyed many Anglo-Christian families and brown Muslim families and, really, families of all color schemes and religious/non-religious persuasions.
We mothers have to stand up and put our bodies on the line for peace and humanity. We must look into the best parts of ourselves that make us mothers willing to care for and protect all children of the world, not just our own. We need to access our hearts and souls to lead from a place of compassion and love not from war/fear mongering hatred and disgraceful threats and use of bullying force.
I am calling on a new Jeannette Rankin Brigade to rise up and have join us on our “10,000 Mother of a March” on Congress on Monday, May 14th, 2007, which is the day after Mother’s Day. Marches on the weekends are not effective. We need to shut the city of DC down and we need to show people like Hillary Clinton and NOW that there are true women/mothers who want the needless and indiscriminate killing of our world’s children to end. We need to surround Congress, demand an end to this evil occupation and refuse to leave until the Congressional leadership agrees with us, or throws us in jail!
I am calling on Mothers of the world to join us in DC, if they are able…or descend on US embassies all over the world that day. I would love to see at least 10,000 Iraqi women marching on the Green Zone that day: marching in solidarity with us to end the slaughter of their children. I believe millions of mothers around the world are tired of their children being used as cannon fodder and political tools in the games of war and killer sanctions.
Mothers united will never be defeated! It's time.
Please go The Camp Casey Peace Institute for more info.
Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was killed in Bush's war of terror on 04/04/04. She is the co-founder and president of Gold Star Families for Peace and The Camp Casey Peace Institute.